Mississippi’s Greatest March Madness Bracket

It’s the bracket contest Mississippi has been waiting for. From writers to athletes, activists and entertainers, our state’s people are second to none. So in the spirit of March Madness, we’ve seeded them all in a bracket for you to enjoy!

VOTE now & each week on Twitter at @bashbrosmedia to see who claims the title!

Share the contest on facebook.com/bashbrothersmedia to enter to win a stay-and-dine package for two from WaterView Casino and great swag from Southern Beverage and Natchez Brewery!

Here’s a fun breakdown of the bracket and how it was built:

Delta Region

Named for Mississippi’s most famous region, the Delta bracket features the state’s greatest writer, its most important Civil Rights figure, and a juicy 4-5 Archie Manning – Willie Morris matchup sure to tug at the heartstrings. (Executive director and former theater director Henry was incensed at the 7 seed for Williams).

Best Matchup: Willie Morris (4) – Archie Manning (5)

Cinderella potential: Archie Manning

Projected winner: Medgar Evers

Magnolia Region

The bracket with the state emblem skews to the blues, with the King leading the field and pioneers Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters matched up in the first round. It’s arguably the deepest region; James Meredith may be the strongest No.3 seed in the field.

Best Matchup: James Meredith (3) – Steve McNair (6)

Cinderella potential: Steve McNair

Projected winner: B.B. King

Catfish Region

It’s the state’s best dish, and a bracket topped by another King in music. Elvis would probably rank as the No.1 overall seed and as such ended up with the easiest draw. But No.2 seed Walter Payton is a nails-tough out, and controversial No.4 seed Britney Spears can get hot.

Best matchup: Britney Spears (4) – Jimmy Buffet (5)

Cinderella potential: Britney Spears

Projected winner: Elvis Presley

Gulf Coast Region

Power women headline the spicy fourth region. Oprah, Robin Roberts and Leontyne Price set the pace, but folksy fan favorites Brett Favre and Dizzy Dean come in with firepower and upset potential.

Best matchup: Jerry Rice (2) – Jimmie Rodgers (7)

Cinderella potential: Dizzy Dean

Projected winner: Brett Favre


James Earl Jones (3), Robin Roberts (4), Jimmy Buffet (5)


Tennesse Williams (7), Robert Johnson (5), John Grisham (8)

About the Bracket

What is ‘greatest’? It’s best viewed as a triangle of influential, important and famous. Some more than others, but you cannot qualify the contributions all of these amazing people in different fields. Basically we saw it this way: if you had reserved tables at a Mississippi’s greatest dinner, who would the people seat first?

Who is a Mississippian? Mostly, they had to be born in Mississippi. Athletes who only played their college ball here, entertainers who moved here later in life, etc. were not included. There a few notable exceptions (Dizzy has a museum here after all). It is another criteria better seen common terms: do Mississippians consider them a Mississippian?

Politicians not included. Because, well, politics…if we had a President, they would make their way into the tournament. But comparing the accomplishments of William Winter versus Haley Barbour falls too squarely on what side of the aisle you’re on.

How were they seeded and paired? The seeding took long and lively hours of research, discussion and debate. The regional placements and pairings were decided randomly once the seeds were set. There are no right answers here, just as as it is with the NCAA selection committee each March. That’s part of what makes it so fun!

Remember to VOTE now and each week on Twitter at @bashbrosmedia to see who claims the title! Share the contest on facebook.com/bashbrothersmedia to enter to win a stay-and-dine package from WaterView Casino!


Executive Producer

Jon Wiener is a sports journalist with acclaimed work across all platforms in sports media. He was a longtime radio show host at ESPN 105.9 FM The Zone in Jackson, Miss. and still appears regularly as a television analyst and studio host on FOX 40 News & the NFHS Network. Jon has won awards as a play-by-play announcer at Trinity University and his sportswriting on a has been published nationally in the New York Daily News, Global Golf Post, SLAM! Magazine and ABC News. He lives with pets named Marlo and Cutty and is perpetually running late to the tee.

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